Sous Vide Cooking

Time and Accurate Temperature

Duck Foie Gras cooked sous vide at 58°C during 47 minutes

by on Dec.27, 2009, under Recipes, Time and Accurate Temperature

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In France, during Christmas time, eating foie gras is very popular. Remember that the sous vide method was developed by Georges Pralus in the 70s  in order to cook foie gras in an optimal way.
For the first time I tried to cook myself a duck foie gras sous vide.
First issue is to choose a good raw foie gras of quality…The South Ouest of France is the region where the foie gras is originally produced. If you choose one of those, there is a small risk to make mistakes.

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Then, you must take off the veins of the foie gras (sometimes you can purchase the foie gras without the veins). This is where the problem started…This is not an easy part of work. I looked on internet some videos illustrated the key points and technique to take off veins of a foie gras and then I tried myself. The difficult thing is to find the veins, take them off without destroying the whole structure of the foie gras.

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It was very hard to do. On the right you can see the pieces of foie gras containing the veins and on the left the foie gras I almost totally destroyed!

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Then I added 13g salt per kilo and 3g of pepper per kilo of foie gras. Some people recommend seasoning the foie gras with Armagnac or Porto. I put no alcohol at all.
Next step is to create a “ballotine”.

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The “ballotine” was also not easy to form. I took a food grade plastic wrap, put the foie gras pieces inside and compressed them, first to take off the air but also to create a cylinder. Several plastics wrap pieces were necessary to fulfill this step.

Next step was to vacuum the foie gras in a pouch. I read on internet that the best way to keep a frame while cooking was to use a “shrink” bag. I didn’t have any so I did it with a regular cuisson sous vide bag.

Cooking the foie gras ballotine: my foie gras cylinder was approx. 17 cm long and 6 cm of diameter. The more an ingredient is fat the best it conducts heat. I cooked my ballotine at 58°C during 47 minutes with immersion circulator.
During the cooking process air appeared in the ballotine and my pouche started to float on the surface. I have probably not compressed enough the foie gras and not vacuumed enough the pouch. Therefore I fixed the pouch with a heavy tool down in my cooking pot.

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Next step was to chill the ballotine. As you can see I took this task very seriously.

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My foie gras became slightly brown and a significant amount of yellow fat appeared on one side of the pouch (unfortunately you can’t see it on the picture). I was surprised to see that by ballotine kept its cylinder frame. My worry was to maintain this frame until the total cool down of the foie gras. For this purpose I took a piece of carton I curved like a half-cylinder and place the ballotine inside. After I left the ballotine in the fridge for a night with the carton, the whole ballotine kept its perfect frame of a cylinder.

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The result was really not so bad! With a little bit of fig, the taste was marvelous and the texture fantastic.

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In addition, a little bit of Sauterne Château de Rolland (Barsac) 2004…Très, très bon!

Jean-François

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Sous Vide at Home – The perfect egg at 64.5°C ?

by on Nov.21, 2009, under Time and Accurate Temperature

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Three months ago I tried a soft boiled egg at 63°C during 1 hour. I have admitted that it was not the perfect egg for me and promissed to make another try. This time I cooked an egg 50 minutes at a constant 64.5°C temparature.

And here is the result!

sous-vide-at-home-egg-64-swid-addelice-immersion-circulator-water-bath-2(Soft boiled egg cooked at 64.5°C during 50 minutes)

 The egg at 64.5°C has nothing to do compared to the 63°C one (see the last picture down this post). The appearance of the 64.5°C is better, the white egg is more compact and doesn’t fall down like the 63°C one.

sous-vide-at-home-egg-64-swid-addelice-immersion-circulator-water-bath-3(Soft boiled egg cooked at 64.5°C during 50 minutes)

The yolk is also very different compared to the 63°C one.

sous-vide-at-home-egg-64-swid-addelice-immersion-circulator-water-bath-4(Soft boiled egg cooked at 64.5°C during 50 minutes)

See bellow the picture I made 3 months ago of the 63°C soft boiled egg with the Sousvidemagic and above the 64.5°C egg with the swid of Addélice. This is crazy to see how a difference of only 1.5°C can change so much the texture of an egg.
As I told it before I didn’t really like the 63°C egg but the 64.5°C was fantastic!! Absolutly incredible…I strongly recommend anybody trying it!
I read on internet that such egg was impossible to do without the precision and stability of an immersion circulator. I know understand why. If the temperature variation is equal or higher to 1°C then this can change the final texture of the white egg and yolk. The cool thing is also to be sure to reproduce the same result each time you set your immersion circulator at 64.5°C! I am definitely getting found of this cooking equipment.

sous-vide-cooking-cookery-equipment-immersion-circulator-thermal-circulator-egg-63-c(63°C soft boiled egg cooked during 60 minutes)

Jean François

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